Exclusive Interview: Siderian talk Rabidfest 2021!

Following our admission that a footlong Subway was consumed for the first time in two years since Upsurge Festival in 2019 during Rabidfest at The Bullingdon in Oxford in our interview with Weaponry frontman Al Bristow about the event, it’s time we diverted some attention. So here are the thoughts of Siderian vocalist David Pope about the festival that served to raise a few quid for the Mental Health charity Restore after the Northamptonshire five piece played a set full of their signature blend of Groove Metal with Thrash moments from their current album “Origins“…

Live Metal is back baby! How does it feel to be back on the stage after the 18 months of mothballed venues we’ve all endured? “We’ve missed it so much, if you can’t enjoy being onstage after a gap like that, why are you even in a band? We’ve been pretty lucky, we had a couple of shows in September that went down a storm, then we were unfortunately Covided out of Sarcomafest in October, so all attentions were turned to Rabidfest to make up for it”

Was Rabidfest all you hoped it would be? How did you find the Oxford crowd and how did it compare with other Festivals and one dayers you’ve played in the past? “We were stoked to be asked to play, we’ve been gunning to play shows of that level for a while and to finally get the opportunity is amazing, even if we had to wait 12 months to play it because of Covid. The crowd were fantastic in both numbers and response, loved seeing so many banging heads and horns raised and the merch sales after were something else! When you’ve been away for so long, the doubts start to creep in, but the response we and the other bands got on the day was immense and pretty humbling to be honest. The organisation of the event was very professional and we’d jump at the chance to work with Greg, Sheri and the rest of the team again, I can’t even offer any constructive criticism as requested by them because I can’t think of anything to improve!”

How did you come to be involved in the festival? Was it the first you’d heard about the good work of the Mental Health charity Restore? “I’d been aware of Rabidfest for a while and wanted us to be part of a line-up like that. We work hard, we play hard and we’ve been around a good while now, we felt it was time we made a step up and playing events like Rabidfest can only help us do that. Meeting Greg at another show a few weeks ago, it was immediately apparent he’s one of the scene’s good guys and it’s great to work with people like him. To be honest, it was the first we’d heard of the work of Restore, but I can’t think of anything more worthy to support given the struggles everyone has been through as a result of the pandemic. We’re really glad the event smashed all expectations in terms of ticket sales so they receive more money to fund their excellent work”

How difficult did you find it to shorten your set list for the more limited stage time of the festival sets? Were there any disagreements in the camp over what got dropped? “No problem at all, the set we played we consider to be our hardest hitting tracks, possibly with the exception of “Origins” which was dropped as it’s in a different tuning and the break for that uses up time we weren’t going to have. We’re very much a get on, smash set, get off band. No gimmicks, no messing about, hit ‘em hard, hit ‘em fast and get out”

The Bullingdon is a fantastic venue with great sound but has a fixed barrier in front of the stage. How did that affect the theatrics of your usual performances? “It is a fantastic venue, it’s the sort of place you aspire to play when you start a band off. The barrier was cool, gave me somewhere to put my foot other than the monitor and gave the rest of the band a bit more space without me stumbling into them! I must admit I do like to  climb things when I’m onstage, scale the heights to better deliver my sermons! However, that has in the past caused issues when I can’t get down from whatever it is I’ve climbed, being a big lad has its disadvantages hahaha!”

Did you find it a bit surreal being introduced to the audience by a compare? “We’ve had it before at the aforementioned  Sarcomafest, I think it’s a good thing, sometimes us metal bands all look fairly similar, it’s helpful for the audience to know exactly who it is they’re watching”

What’s next for Siderian? Our final show of the year is at Dubrek Studios in Derby this Saturday with Syncolima and Reavrr then we’re having a bit of a break to go away and actually work on some new material. We got dozens of cool “bits” of songs sorted during lockdown, but we’ve not had the chance to try and turn those into fully fledged songs yet, that’s the interesting bit. Then come back in 2022 and melt some more faces!”

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